Business District Regeneration and the Experience of Small Retailers: The Case of Khulna, Bangladesh

  • Shilpi Roy

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis assesses the implications of current urban planning and business district regeneration policies and practices for small retailers in the city of Khulna, Bangladesh. Through a mixed-method embedded case study strategy, it explores the problems and opportunities affecting small retailers in business districts, and the effectiveness of the planning and regeneration policies and practices that impinge upon them. The research findings suggest that small retailers face a number of challenges linked to ownership of land and premises, investment capacity and the quality of the built environment. The findings demonstrate that contemporary regeneration policy frameworks have not adequately addressed these issues. Evidence from case study fieldwork suggests that these failings can be attributed to the inequitable distribution of resources, the inappropriate nature of the regulatory framework governing planning, and the dominance of particular values amongst public planning elites, which militate against the ability of small retail owners to participate effectively in the policy-making process. The thesis concludes that these process-related problems reflect the dominance of the neo-liberal aspirations, which underlie public planning practices in Khulna, and the inadequate utilisation of emerging developmental ideas aimed at supporting marginal groups. The thesis articulates an alternative approach to planning and proposes regeneration policies that are more sensitive to the needs of small retailers. It concludes that the prosperity of small retailers would be better served by more inclusive modes of policy-making and delivery, which provide greater scope for meaningful participation based on pluralist democratic principles as an alternative to post-political technocratic governance by policy elites.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorIain Deas (Supervisor) & Yasminah Beebeejaun (Supervisor)


  • Neo-liberalism
  • Urban Planning
  • Regeneration
  • Small retailing
  • Bangladesh

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